2024 Knysna Oyster Festival - Knysna Hollow Menu

2024 Knysna Oyster Festival

Posted on April 30, 2024

This year’s Knysna Oyster Festival will be held from 21 – 30 June.

The theme, ‘For a shucking good time,’ promises an exciting line-up of food, culture and sport – all centred around the small mollusc that put Knysna on the map!

If you’re looking for a place to base yourself for the duration of the festivities, consider Knysna Hollow Country Estate, a luxurious contemporary retreat on the outskirts of town – close enough to join in on all the fun, yet removed from the bustling crowds.

Read on for more on the event itself…

History of the Knysna Oyster Festival

Image Credit: Instagram | knysnaoysterfestival

Knysna’s first oyster farm was established in 1948. By the 1970s, an “oyster boom” had taken place in the area and Knysna was reborn as the oyster capital of South Africa. Though the industry wasn’t to last, it diversified the town’s economy which, at the time, was solely reliant on fishing and forestry.

To draw visitors to Knysna in the quiet winter months, it was decided that a festival should be hosted to celebrate the oysters that were bringing wealth and prestige to the region. In 1983 the first Winter Festival was held – later redubbed the Knysna Oyster Festival.

Though Knysna remains the ‘birthplace’ of oyster farming in South Africa, it is no longer a primary location for cultivation and the last permits for oyster farming in the Knysna Lagoon were not renewed in 2010.

Today, most of the oysters enjoyed in South Africa are grown either in Algoa Bay near Gqeberha, or in Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape. Harvesting wild oysters in Knysna is mainly done by professional oyster pickers during an annual 2-week window.

The 2024 Knysna Oyster Festival

Today, the Knysna Oyster Festival is one of the highlights of the town’s annual calendar, drawing food enthusiasts, athletes, families, and adventure-seekers from near and far to partake in the festivities and enjoy all that Knysna has to offer.

The festival’s evolution reflects Knysna’s transformation from a small fishing village to a bustling tourist destination. It not only celebrates South Africa’s oyster industry, but also showcases the Garden Route’s natural beauty, rich heritage, and diverse culinary offerings.

Image Credits: Instagram | knysnaoysterfestival & exploreknysna

Here’s an overview of what to expect:

  • Oyster Eating and Shucking Competitions: Who can shuck oysters the fastest?
  • Sporting Events: Trail running races, mountain biking challenges – even events like rugby or netball tournaments.
  • Food and Wine Tastings: Visitors have the opportunity to indulge in the finest local cuisine, including not only fresh oysters but also a wide range of other delicacies.
  • Live Music Performances: Throughout the festival, live music acts take to the stage to entertain the crowds. These performances showcase local talent as well as well-known musicians, adding to the festive atmosphere of the event.
  • Arts and Crafts Markets: Artisans and crafters from the region set up stalls to display and sell their creations. Visitors can browse through a variety of handmade goods, including jewelry, clothing, artwork, and more, providing an opportunity to take home a unique souvenir of the festival.

From cooking classes to marathons, you can browse the full event itinerary here.

The best part? There are multiple oyster outlets stationed around town, no matter the occasion, venue or event. At the end of the day, you’ll be left in no doubt as to who the real hero of the gathering is!


If this festival is for you, or if you have your eye on any event in particular, all ticket queries and purchases can be made via the festival’s main website.

For further information email info@knysnaoysterfestival.co.za or call Visit Knysna on +27(0)44 382 5510.

Image Credit: Instagram | knysnaoysterfestival

Stay With Us

Knysna Hollow Country Estate is perfectly situated to suit all your needs during the Knysna Oyster Festival. Allow us to be your home away from home as you enjoy the beauty and bounty of the Garden Route!

Feel free to get in touch with our friendly reservations team directly at reservations@knysnahollow.co.za. They would be happy to help you secure accommodation to suit your travelling party’s needs.

Alternatively, make use of our seamless online booking platform by clicking here.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Knysna and have you enjoy this fantastic event with us!

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